Domino's testing breakfast pizza on (who else?) college students

By T.L. Stanley on Wed Sep 29 2010

Pizza

Pizza for breakfast has always been good in a greasy, morning-after kind of way. But Domino's, the folks who brought us the Oreo-cookie pizza a few years back, is aiming at (no surprise here) the college crowd with an a.m. version of its p.m. staple. The breakfast pizza, now sold at one franchise near the University of Dayton in Ohio, consists of cheese and eggs on a pizza crust, plus toppings like sausage, jalapenos, ham, bacon and onions. Kind of like a flat omelet with a lot more carbs. It costs $7.99 at the restaurant, which is supposedly the only 24-hour Domino's in the country. (It also serves coffee and orange juice for the early risers and all-nighters.) The marketer is keeping an eye on sales to see if the product could expand to other locations. I wonder if this was an exhaustively researched offering or an opportunistic one, predicated on the reality that students will eat almost anything. I guess we'll find out over time, if Domino's has to admit one day that the breakfast pizza sucked.

Domino's soliciting public's 'pizza proverbs' to print on its boxes

By David Kiefaber on Fri Jul 23 2010

Pizza-proverb

Domino's latest idea in a string of sometimes interesting, often annoying ideas is Pizza Proverbs, in which it is crowdsourcing 100-character-or-less nuggets of wisdom to print on its pizza boxes. Domino's got the ball rolling with some of its own ideas, which are a little hokey—"Life is what happens between slices" sounds like a snippet of Full House dialogue. But the fan entries aren't bad. They range from the psycho-gastronomical ("Eat a pizza at night. Dreams full of fright. Eat a pizza at day. Dreams a-okay") to the religious ("Pizza is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy") to the imitative ("A slice in one hand is better than two in the box") to the just plain weird ("The sausage doesn't fall far from the cheese"). The lines, for now, are just going on the boxes, but who knows, they might be good for use in ads, too—to distract people from Domino's newly honest product shots.

Why should we believe Domino's now if they were lying before?

Posted on Mon Jan 11 2010

Hawking a product as "new and improved" has to be one of the oldest tricks in advertising, but Domino's has gone one better (or worse) with a new campaign that touts a from-the-ground-up rebuild of their pizzas. Why was that necessary? Because the old ones tasted like crap, according to the commercials themselves, which quote liberally from consumers who obviously weren't stoned enough to look past the ketchup-y sauce, cardboard crust and toppings of questionable origin. The irony of this campaign—look, real cheese now, we promise!—isn't lost on Stephen Colbert, who props up and deflates brands, including his Comedy Central show's sponsors, with equal gusto. Colbert last week named Domino's his Alpha Dog of the Week for "having the meatballs to say, 'We suck,' " while never apologizing for the steady stream of garbage they'd been shoveling out for years. To drive the point home, The Colbert Report compiled a highlight reel of prior Domino's ads claiming delicious, cheesy goodness and then showed the current CEO talking about "weakness in the core product." Colbert choked up on a taste test of the revamped recipe. If consumers do the same, we'll probably be hearing about that in the next round of advertising. Eat up, America!

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Domino's brings back the Noid, and he no longer needs avoiding

Posted on Mon Nov 23 2009

Noid

The Noid, that villainous Domino's mascot from the 1980s, is back. But instead of stirring up trouble, the character will be helping with a charitable cause this time around. The pizza chain is getting in the holiday spirit of giving by introducing "Avoid the Noid" T-shirts to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The company will donate $14 from the sale of each T-shirt to St. Jude. Domino's says it has made 1,000 such limited-edition T-shirts, which retail for $19.99 at NoidTshirt.com. The effort is part of Domino's annual "Thanks and Giving" campaign, which has raised $5 million for the children's hospital since 2005. It's always encouraging to see a company supporting a good cause, and Domino's had the right idea with the Noid. Who wouldn't want to wear a vintage T-shirt featuring a loopy character with red bunny ears?

—Posted by Elena Malykhina

Domino's launches Lava Crunch with a Mount St. Helens delivery

Posted on Fri Aug 14 2009

Dominos

Domino's feels that it has a hot new idea: Chocolate Lava Crunch. This new permanent menu item is an oven-baked chocolate cake with warm, flowing fudge inside. To generate some publicity about the launch, it brought the stuff to Mount St. Helens. Arriving by helicopter earlier this week, Domino's employees handed out 1,000 cakes to tourists enjoying the views. The product is just the latest attempt by Domino's to use its ovens to bake products other than pizza. It launched a similar product in 2006 called Fudge 'Ems, but the launch of the unappetizing-looking brownies was sabotaged from the start by a horrible ad campaign. It featured a nasty little square creature who tracked brown smudges everywhere. Rallying around a volcano that caused the most devastating eruption in our country's history is, sadly, a step up.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

KFC's Roger Eaton upbeat in apology for grilled-chicken fiasco

Posted on Mon May 11 2009

When fast feeders are trying to sell you something, they roll out the corporate mascot. But when it comes time to apologize, that appears to be the president's job. In April, Domino's president Patrick Doyle was the go-to guy for the mea culpa after "team members" at a Domino's in North Carolina tried to pull off a "funny YouTube" hoax by filming themselves putting boogers in customers' food. Now, a month later, KFC president Roger Eaton is the public whipping boy for his chain after many locations ran out of grilled chicken last Wednesday after Oprah Winfrey pointed America to some free online coupons. How did Eaton do? Well, in his favor, he looks directly at the camera, which is a nice change from Doyle, who appeared to be addressing the offscreen guy who holds the boom mike. Eaton's main problem is that he doesn't sound all that Kentucky. He's apparently from South Africa, and his strange-to-Americans accent has already been parodied in another unfunny YouTube hoax. Aside from that, Doyle is way too cheerful. You messed up, mate! Stop making it sound like you're selling us a used car.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Captain D's hated cease-and-desist letters before Domino's did

Posted on Fri Jan 23 2009

Domino's made waves this week by burning a cease-and-desist letter from Subway in a commercial (top video), after Subway took offense to Domino's taste-test ads. While that seemed like a bold stunt, it's nearly identical to what Captain D's has been doing in its own current campaign.
  In the Captain D's ad (bottom video), a rep for the seafood chain is seen ripping up a cease-and-desist letter from Red Lobster—which it received after airing similar taste-test commercials promoting Captain D's "sit-down food at fast-food prices" over the pricier Red Lobster stuff.
  There is one difference: Captian D's gave out 1,000 free T-shirts to the first people to visit irefusetoceaseanddesist.com. Perhaps a Domino's T-shirt offer is on the way.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

Domino's taste-test attack on Subway may be tough to swallow

Posted on Wed Dec 31 2008

Now that it has oven-baked sandwiches, Domino's is wasting no time going after the competition, launching a sub attack on Subway this week. The pizza purveyor has trotted out the good old taste test, claiming that people prefer its hot subs two-to-one over Subway. The debut ad attempts to quantify two-to-one by showing the world's smartest man (IQ 200) matched up against your average fifth grader (IQ 100) in a board game. The approach isn't too surprising, given that it's from the same ad agency, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, that did Burger King's "Whopper Virgins" taste-test campaign. But will it work? Subway isn't exactly known for its terrible-tasting food. In fact, according to a recent BrandIndex survey of 5,000 consumers, on a scale of -100 to 100, Subway food received an overall score of 55.1, while Domino's pulled in a -8.3. Maybe Domino's is the one with the fifth-grade IQ.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein


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